SoJO 104.9 has been following the development of one of South Jersey's young stars - Vineland's Mike Trout.  The former Millville High School baseball standout had his ticket stamped late Friday night from Salk Lake City to rejoin the major leagues with the Los Angeles Angels.

Trout was tearing it up at the AAA level (one notch below the majors) - a .403 batting average in 77 at-bats for the Salt Lake Bees witch included a team high 31 hits, 5 triples, and 11 walks (.467 on-base % is also a team high).  Trout was 2nd in the Pacific Coast League upon his call up to the Angels.  The 20-yr-old also had 1 Home Run and 13 Runs Batted In during his 20 games with the Bees.

Trout told The Daily Journal (his hometown newspaper) that he was surprised by the promotion, stating that a call-up was not even mentioned recently by the Angels.  The team had placed #27 in the minors to get everyday playing time, and help recover from shoulder tendonitis.  What made the move even more surprising is that the team was willing to eat the remaining $9 Million left on Bobby Abreu's contract to get Trout back in an L.A. uniform.

Abreu, a potential Hall of Fame player (career .293 average and almost 2,400 career hits) and former Phillie (1998-2006), was not getting the playing time he felt he deserved and struggled hitting  just .208 (5-for-24) with 5 Runs Batted In.

The Los Angeles Angels are struggling with a 7-15 record this season.  The team that was believed to be the favorites to win the American League title has seen the great power hitter Albert Pujols look awful.  The career .327 hitting is batting more than 100 points less than that (19-for-88 = .216 average) and has Zero Home Runs!

Mike Trout cannot be called upon to solve all that is ailing the Angels.  There is no doubt about Trout's talent - a .342 batting average in his minor league career - but without the big bats like Pujols, Vernon Wells (.221 average with 4 Home Runs),  Peter Bourjos (.167 average), and Alberto Collaspo (.182) getting their acts together, this could be a hugely disappointing season for the team out of Orange County.

Trout will get to play, and he will have some struggles, as he went without a hit over the weekend for the Angels, but in the long run he will be a very good baseball player that could be destined for greatness - so long as the Los Angeles Angels does not put too much pressure on this South Jersey kid.